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Olga the Travelling Bra at Oslo Royal Castle

posted on 29th October 2008 under History, Travel Norway

I have a visitor and am so excited to be able to show such a distinguished guest around Oslo. My regular readers know I call myself a network evangelist and are very active on social networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn and of course in the Blogsphere. You know my saying is ‘Blogging Connecting People’ and some months ago I met Olga. She is also a globetrotter, which fascinated me even more and when I invited her to come over for a guided tour around in Norway, she was thrilled. I was too and of course this will give me a chance to fulfil the aim of my blog: To share about Norway and the Nordic countries; our culture, traditions and habits. But first a short introduction:

Olga at RennyBAOlga The Travelling Bra likes to travel around and meet new people from all over the world. We show her our famous sites and our warm hospitality and she really has the opportunity to travel, to meet new people and see the best of interesting places. She sure meet a lot of people on photo shoots because everyone is so curious about this special guest!!! And what a great way to show the world this special place we travel too!

This first day of visit we took her to The Royal Castle in Oslo and Olga was eager to listen and learn (click all pics to enlarge and enjoy!):

The Norwegian monarchy dates back more than one thousand years. Harald Fairhair, regarded as the first Norwegian king, united the petty kingships of Norway into a single realm in about 885. From the time of Harald Fairhair until the present day, Norway has had more than 60 named sovereigns. The current King (now Harald the V) belongs to the House of Glücksburg, which has ruled Norway since 1905.

Olga at Oslo Royal Castle #2

The Royal Palace is situated on a rise, the Bellevue, at one end of Oslo’s main thoroughfare, Karl Johans gate. It is one of the country’s most important buildings and a concrete symbol of the course of Norwegian history since 1814. Building activities commenced in 1824, and the foundation stone was laid by King Carl Johan (the statue in front) on 1 October 1825. The Palace was officially taken into use on 26 July 1849 by King Oscar I.

Olga was very lucky as the changing of the guard ceremony in front of The Palace took place right when we were there:
Olga at Oslo Royal Castle #6
The King’s guard in front of their barrack.

His Majesty the King’s Guard (HMKG) was founded in 1856, when King Oscar I of Sweden and Norway expressed a wish to have a Norwegian guard to underline his position as monarch of both countries (until the dissolution of the union in 1905). A company of 100 men was recruited and trained during the summer of 1856, and arrived in Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, on November 1st – the date on which the regiment’s formation is commemorated every year.

Olga was so excited and wanted to have a closer look at this handsome guards of course, so we had introduce her and let her have a closer look;

Olga at Oslo Royal Castle #5 Olga at Oslo Royal Castle #3

I have actually served in the Military at HMKG myself in the 70s. There was a lot to see through a 24 hour shift, but never was I as observed and got so close to a bra like this :lol:

Olga will stay with us for a while, and next place we’ll take her is to Vigeland Park. I can assure you, she’ll go nuts among all the naked sculptures. So stay tuned for more WonderBra adventures :-) You should also visit Olga’s own blog and in comment tell you’ve seen her at RennyBA’s Terella!

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Nordic Golf in the Golden Autumn Beauty

posted on 26th October 2008 under Fall, Nature, Sports

We are still enjoying the golden beauty of fall in the Nordic countries. Nothing can make a more colourful painting than the nature itself and running a blog about the significant four seasons, I just have to share another nature adventure with you. It happened last weekend in Sweden where we have our vacation home. This summer my wife and I met a very nice local couple at the golf course and now we play together as often as we can when we are in Mariestad. Let me start with a picture to give you an idea – you don’t need that much passion for golf to appreciate I would say (click all pics to enlarge and enjoy):

Autumn Golf in the Nordic #1
Colourful with crisp, fresh air!

Even when golfing, I have my Nokia mobile phone at hand and with this wonderful scenery, I shot a lot of pics and almost lost track of the score :lol:
Autumn Golf in the Nordic #7 Autumn Golf in the Nordic #2
Nice, quiet, relaxing and refreshing – 12C (54F) – If you have the right clothes!
Autumn Golf in the Nordic #7 Autumn Golf in the Nordic #6

Golf is a very social sport and an perfect setting for a network evangelist like me. With our new friends, Maggan and Åke, we found the tone at the first tee and we where chatting, playing together and enjoyed each others company as if we’ve known each other for years. Some of my regular readers have asked how communicate. Well Swedish and Norwegian (as well as Danish) is very close so with understanding and an open mind, mixed with a bit of imagination, there is no problem. Of course there might be different words for the same thing, and the pronunciation is a bit different, but that don’t hinder the dialogue. Besides, we share the same passion for golf and also the breath taking view:
Autumn Golf in the Nordic #5 Autumn Golf in the Nordic #4

The golf course was very well prepared with nice fairways and greens even if we’ve had a couple of frost nights already. As you might have noticed there are a lot of leaves in some areas, but thats not a handicap, just a reminder of the wonderful season – even when concentrating on putting:
Autumn Golf in the Nordic #8

Some might ask about the score: Well, I made no whole in one this time and I think there was more boogies that birdies. Who cares though – we had a relaxing and jolly good time. Is there a better way to charge batteries?

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Oktoberfest blows into Oslo

posted on 21st October 2008 under Fall, Food, Habits, History, Tradition

The world is getting smaller as we all swap traditions, habits, celebrations and feast from all over the world. Blogsphere is one place to pick up ideas as we get aquatinted with other blog friends and learn their habits. The tendency to a more global economy is another way to share and obtain the same. Last week I was invited to an Oktoberfest and of course I’ll share it with you – again with some pics as I had my Nokia mobile phone handy.

We were invited by Netprint, our printing services provider and the evening was well planned in every detail. To get us in the right mood, there was a brass band playing in front of the building (click all pics to blow up and enjoy!):

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Here is a video I took with my mobile phone if you would like to get in the spirit (click and enjoy while you read on!):

You know I enjoy digging into the details and learning something new as I post and as always, I love to share some with you:

Oktoberfest? Notice the word, the spelling and the meaning:

The first Oktoberfest was held in Munich in the year 1810 in honour of the Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig’s marriage to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. The festivities began on October 12, 1810 and ended on October 17th with a horse race. In the years that followed, the celebrations were repeated and later, the festival was prolonged and moved forward into mid September.

Moving the festivities up, allowed of course for better weather conditions. Because the September nights were warmer, the visitors were able to enjoy the gardens outside the tents and the stroll over “die Wiesen” or the fields much longer without feeling chilly. Obviously, the last Oktoberfest weekend was in October and this tradition continues into present times.

With a bit of adjustment and local creativeness, our excellent Netprint hosts, brought us this celebration:

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Entering the party room (the buildings garage!) we where greeted with servants in traditional German (Update from Gattina: Bavarian) clothes and each got a Seidel beer glass. (Me left –Edgar to the right).

In the beer cellar: Me and colleagues: Irene our receptionist and our Marketing Director: Edgar Valdmanis. (taken by the host CEO with a pro camera).

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Nicely set up table with appropriate decorations including wall posters of the German countryside. Let the party with lots of “cheering” begin:

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Left: Snaps and Beer. Right: Real Oktoberfest food: Bratwurst, Sweinehaxe, Sauerkraut and potatoes. It all tasted deliciously good!

I assume most of you have heard about Oktoberfest and now you know a bit more of the background. We are talking about the results of the growing season ending in the autumn. The grain is harvested and its time to make beer – a lot and of course its time for a big celebration. Just like the Vikings did thousands of year before. Remember that centuries ago this was a way of preserving the grain and putting it to good use. Although rumours say they played real tough; Don’t believe all of them – ‘When the going gets tough… the tough get going’, you know :lol:

So have you been to an Oktoberfest or taken part in a celebration or tradition that comes from another part of the world? I’d like to hear about it.

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Colourful autumn adventure in Oslo suburbs

posted on 14th October 2008 under Fall

I had another quality time with my wife on Sunday and of course I’ll share it with you. Quality in the sense of a nice, long and peaceful walk in our neighbourhood. It was a wonderful morning; partly cloudy, about 12C (54F) with crisp, fresh air. I brought my Nikon CoolPix camera with me so let me show you an example of the scenery – to get you into the right autumn mood (click all pics to enlarge and enjoy):

Autumn in Norway - Forest #1

My faithful readers know I love nature – to be out there and see, feel, smell and experience the beauty of the elements. Every season has its charm and for autumn, it’s the colour as the sign of the end of summer before nature goes into hibernation. Some feel its kind of sad – I think it’s a proof of the ecologic lifecycle and the fact that change makes an interesting variety in life.

So we walked and talked – about all and nothing. In the daily life with a hectic schedule, it’s important to have the chance to just be together, I think. To talk or walk in silence and to share moments of the beauty of natural elements:

Autumn in Norway - Forest #2

We talked about Blogsphere and our friends all around the world of course. As a matter of fact, this trip was also done so that we could show you our neighbourhood. We live in an Oslo suburb, just 15 minutes from the capital of Norway and here is an example from a street we passed:
Autumn in Norway - Oslo Suburb #4
Most of the houses are wooden as there is a lot of trees around you know.

The more we walked and looked around, the more interesting it got. We were thinking: We have to show our blog friends this and that. So as pictures say more than a thousand words, let’s start:
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Horses at a farm.

Autumn in Norway - Bee House #1
Bee houses – honey is good and healthy you know!

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Cattles in an open pasture – the same hill children learn skiing on in the winter time.

I can assure you; we had a wonderful time – really a great way to recharge our batteries – and took plenty of more pics too. I’ve found this way to share them all: A movee of how it is to walk around in the beauty of the golden fall one Sunday in Norway – enjoy:

Be sure your speakers are on – the music is ‘Morning Mood’ by the Norwegian composer, Edvard Grieg.

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2008 Nobel Peace Prize to Martti Ahtisaari

posted on 10th October 2008 under History

This year there was 197 nominees and some of the hottest candidates was; former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl; Algerian president, Abdelaziz Bouteflika; Hu Jia, Chinese activist and dissident; another Chinese dissident Wei Jingsheng; Israel’s Mordechai Vanunu; Vietnamese monk Thich Quang Do; The African Union and even Bob Geldof.

The Nobel InstitueThe Nobel Committee consists of 5 members appointed by The Norwegian parliament. The committees’ composition shall reflect the relative strength of the political parties in the parliament. Members of the parliament have not been allowed to be member of the committee since 1977.
The Nobel Committee shall be entirely independent in its work. The discussions about the candidates are kept secret and the members avoid participating in the public debate after the name of the winner is announced.

The winner this year was very deserved and of course we Norwegians are proud of it too – his great grandfather came from Norway: Martti Ahtisaari from Finland:

Click for this postHis most notable achievement was overseeing the 2005 reconciliation of the Indonesian government and Free Aceh Movement (GAM) rebels, bringing an end to a three-decade conflict that killed some 15,000 people.
Ahtisaari also helped lead Kosovo down the path toward independence, even though his intense mediation efforts failed to clinch a joint agreement between Serbia and Kosovo and Pristina earlier this year unilaterally declared independence.
Prior to his involvement in the Aceh talks, Ahtisaari was unfamiliar with Asian geopolitics, but widely respected as a gifted diplomat and outstanding negotiator.
He came to the negotiations after a Finnish businessman linked to the Jakarta elite was convinced the former Finnish president had what it took to bring new life to the apparently moribund peace process.

My regular readers might remember that my candidate from last year was the farther of the Internet: Vint Cerf. In your comment I would like to hear your suggestion for a candidate next year :-)

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